FAS ● Apr 25, 2024

Singapore welcomes AFC President in a pivotal visit to enhance football development



President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), His Excellency Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and President of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Mr. Bernard Tan with the National Development Centre (NDC) youth teams (Boys) along with fellow AFC and FAS colleagues, April 2024. 


SINGAPORE, 25 APRIL 2024 – His Excellency Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), recently concluded a significant visit to Singapore, underscoring the collaborative efforts between the AFC and the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) aimed at advancing the nation’s football through strategic support and developmental initiatives.


This visit, Shaikh Salman’s first since 2017, saw a warm reception led by FAS President Mr. Bernard Tan, alongside the council and notable figures such as Singapore’s Minister of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and Second Minister for Law, Mr. Edwin Tong. Shaikh Salman and the delegation were involved in several high-level discussions that underscored the pivotal role of institutional support in shaping the future of football in Singapore.


From left to right: FAS Deputy General Secretary Mr. Gerard Christopher, AFC General Secretary Dato’ Seri Windsor John, AFC President His Excellency Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Minister of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and Second Minister for Law, Mr. Edwin Tong, FAS President Mr. Bernard Tan, AFC Deputy General Secretary Mr. Vahid Kardany, and FAS General Secretary Yazeen Buhari, April 2024.


A highlight of these engagements was the acknowledgment of the robust government backing through the Unleash the Roar! project, a collaborative initiative involving multiple stakeholders including the MCCY, the Ministry of Education, Sport Singapore, and the FAS. This initiative is a testament to the holistic approach adopted by Singapore to nurture and develop football talent across all levels.


Mr. Tan at the dinner reception, April 2024.


In his welcome address, Mr. Tan extended gratitude to the AFC for its continuous support in enhancing coaching education and grassroots football initiatives. The FAS President reaffirmed the partnership between the FAS and the AFC, adding: “We stand prepared to provide any necessary support to strengthen this alliance and further the development of football in our region”.


Shaikh Salman at the dinner reception, April 2024. 


In his address, Shaikh Salman expressed his admiration for Singapore’s ongoing strategic efforts in football development. He cited examples such as Bahrain’s rise in the FIFA World Ranking and Tajikistan’s success in the Asian Cup, demonstrating how targeted support can lead to substantial progress on the international stage. On a poignant note, the AFC President also took a moment to candidly share some personal anecdotes of his friendship with the late FAS President Mr. Lim Kia Tong.


Shaikh Salman, accompanied by Mr. Tan, in a tour of the high performance gym by Principal Sport Physiologist Dr. Frankie Tan (second from left), at KFH, April 2024. 


The visit also featured a tour of the Kallang Football Hub (KFH), showcasing the state-of-the-art facilities that have been instrumental in developing football talents in Singapore. The AFC delegation observed various training sessions, including those of the women’s national team, and engaged with players and coaches at the National Development Centre (NDC).


Shaikh Salman speaking with the NDC (Girls) youth teams at KFH, April 2024. 


Shaikh Salman praised the commitment of the FAS in promoting gender equality and nurturing young talent, particularly through the island-wide developmental leagues and women’s league. “The AFC is committed to supporting FAS’s initiatives to create an exciting era for Singaporean football,” he stated.


Shaikh Salman interacting with players from the Singapore Women’s National Team at KFH, April 2024. 


The camaraderie and mutual goals shared between the AFC and FAS were symbolized through the exchange of pennants and gifts. Shaikh Salman also noted the significant advancements in facilities, such as the newly completed high-performance indoor gym equipped with advanced sports science technologies.


The exchange of pennants and gifts between the FAS and the AFC, April 2024.


As the visit concluded, both leaders expressed their commitment to strengthening the partnership between AFC and FAS, with Shaikh Salman extending his best wishes for the upcoming Singapore Premier League season, highlighting the league’s growth in viewership and the vibrant passion for football in the region.


Shaikh Salman receiving a personalised Singapore jersey from the Women’s National Team captain Rosnani Azman as a token of appreciation, April 2024. 


The AFC and FAS stand united in their mission to foster excellence and innovation within the sport, setting a promising outlook for the future of football in Singapore and beyond.




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